Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →

Nickel Brook Equilibrium ESB - Better Bitters Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Nickel Brook Equilibrium ESBNickel Brook Equilibrium ESB

Educational use only; do not reuse.
no score

Awaiting 10 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 4
Hads: 25
Avg: 3.75
pDev: 25.07%
Wants: 1
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Better Bitters Brewing Co. visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Sammy on 05-09-2014

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (35) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 4 | Hads: 25
Photo of thehyperduck
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

473 mL can included in their current sampler pack; one of two beers contained within that I've not yet reviewed. Packaged Jun 30 2015 and served slightly chilled.

Pours a foggy copper-amber colour, generating one centimetre of foamy, smoker's-teeth-yellow-coloured head. It fades away fast, leaving behind few remnants - a sickly-thin collar of bubbles here; a few wisps on the surface there. The aroma is relatively subdued in nature, offering up notes of doughy, biscuity malts and some toffee sweetness, along with hints of toasted nuts, candied citrus, red berries and earthy, leafy hops.

Tasty stuff; as the name suggests, this beer's malt and hop flavours are well-proportioned. Some toffee sweetness is joined by a myriad of other flavours - mostly doughy and biscuity malts, with toasted nuts and orchard fruit following on its heels. The back end of the profile features tea-leafy English hops, accompanied by hints of orange citrus, grass and some earthy, roasted malt bitterness. The aftertaste is subtle, with hints of pithy grapefruit astringency lasting beyond the lingering malt sweetness. On the lighter side of medium-bodied, with restrained carbonation levels that gently agitate the palate, resulting in a smooth, slippery mouthfeel. Quite easy to drink; this should appeal on some level to the majority of English ale fans.

Final Grade: 3.9, a B+. Nickel Brook's Equilibrium ESB is an interesting take on this classic British style. It possesses a somewhat more profound bitterness than I tend to expect from this style - with the use of North American hops (e.g. Cascade) empowering it with a citrusy, earthy twist that complements the grassier flavours of the more traditional Euro hops. Throw in some toasty, nutty malts, and I find the combination to be pretty darn satisfying. If they market this as a single at a reasonable price, I could see myself occasionally selecting it over old staples such as Wells Bombardier or Hobgoblin. Definitely worth a look.

 1,985 characters

Photo of peensteen
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Hazy amber colour, ring of off white head, no lace really. Smell is malty and nutty, some caramel and toffee meets citrusy hops, a touch earthy as well. Taste is of sweet malt caramel with some toffee and nutty flavours, a very light toasted/roast at points, moderate hoppy bitterness, grapefruit with a citrusy-malty finish. Lightly carbonated, medium full body and lightly oily. A thoroughly enjoyable beer, the generous hop bill and the nutty-toasted malt flavours come together really well, something that I think would be great a great fall beer that would pair well with hearty comfort food, would love to see this available in single cans so I could keep a few on hand in cooler months.

 693 characters

Photo of DenisKolkin
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

473 ml can served cold into a pint glass. Purchased for about $2.85 CDN, as part of the Nickel Brook summer tasters pack.

Appearance - a cloudy honey brown colored beer is poured, with two fingers of frothy ivory head and great staying power. Plenty of visible carbonation towards the top of the glass.

Smell - clean subtle grain aroma with a hoppy presence, some citrus is definitely present too. Subtle yet very inviting.

Taste - starts a little sweet, caramel and grains in there, before turning to a fruity flavor with a sour cherry element in there. Finishes with roasted grain and a long bitterness, although not to the point of being excessive. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel - smooth and quite creamy, medium body despite more ABV than usual in this style. Modest carbonation.

Overall - personally, I think this is a very good effort from Nickel Brook, hitting the right notes, with pleasant bitterness, a touch of roastiness and some fruit all mingled together in a way that is pleasing, thirst quenching, and representative of an excellent beer in the style. Definitely a winner.

 1,085 characters

Photo of biegaman
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This ESB (Extra Strong Bitter) looks extra sleek; polished garnet highlights and a fiery, bottom-dwelling flare lend a colourful glossiness to this otherwise glassy, non-transparent ale. Equilibrium also has a head like a sponge that appears to slowly be swallowing the glass whole.

It's difficult to describe an aroma that doesn't exist - or at least one that doesn't want to be discovered. It was apparent from the word 'go' there was no shortage of nutty, biscuity sweet flavour but it took a lot of swirling and warmth before these notes would willingly hand themselves over.

If only the aroma could be more like the taste. Whereas the nose has to work hard the palate need just sit back and that malty, caramelly flavour simply throws itself at the tongue. Traces of resin and citrus mop up quickly. This leafy, lightly fruity bitterness courses through the beer's veins.

Sadly everything ends at the swallow; the taste disappears so quickly you'd think it had somewhere more important to be. I'd love a little more time with the toasted nuttiness and candied grapefruit notes. I like my ESBs to be medium-full (emphasis on full) and this one is medium-light (emphasis on light).

'Equilibrium' is a good name for an ESB - it captures the juxtaposition between sweet malt and bitter hops that defines the style. The recipe could have done a better job at this, mind you, but it's a nice example all the same. Besides, Nickelbrook continues to get better and better so this one may improve yet...

 1,517 characters

Nickel Brook Equilibrium ESB from Better Bitters Brewing Co.
- out of 100 based on 4 ratings.